Fourth-set tiebreak: *Murray 4-2 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Serving at 4-1, Murray makes an unforced error on the backhand side at the end of a 12-stroke rally, but he’s still up a minibreak as the players change ends.
Fourth-set tiebreak: *Murray 4-1 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka overcooks a backhand on his serve to start, gifting Murray an early minibreak. But the world No 49 moves back level when Murray mishits a drop shot while serving at 1-all. Murray then wins two quick points, both on Nishioka’s serve, to take a commanding 4-1 with the next two points on his racket.
Fourth set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-6 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray wins the first two points and we appear bound for a tiebreaker, but the indefatigable Nishioka pushes it to 30-all, then to deuce. Then Murray misfires on a volley under duress and suddenly he’s match point down – but he saves it with a 127mph thunderbolt out wide that Nishioka can’t return into the court. Deuce. From there Murray is able to see out the hold and force a fourth-set breaker.
Fourth set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 5-6 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka cruises to another love hold. He’s won 22 of the last 24 points on his serve. Murray again to serve to stay in the match.
Fourth set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 5-5 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Another drama-free hold for Murray, who’s won 12 of the last 13 points on his serve.
Fourth set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 4-5 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Another straightforward hold for Nishioka, who is on the precipice once more. Murray will serve to stay in the tournament after the changeover.
Fourth set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 4-4 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray appears to have righted the ship with his serve, at least for now. He goes unreturnable, ace, ace, unreturnable to hold at love and has gotten eight straight first offerings in going back to his previous service game.
Fourth set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 3-4 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka slots his sixth and seventh aces of the day en route to another elementary hold of serve. Still on level terms here in the fourth.
Fourth set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 3-3 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
A handful of loose points sees Murray fall behind love-30, then 15-40 after yet another double fault. But he quickly saves both break points, then holds with a pair of winners from the baseline. Danger averted.
Fourth set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 2-3 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka reels off a second straight love hold, and third overall, with three crisp winners followed by a 112mph ace right down Broadway.
Fourth set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 2-2 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
And Murray responds with his cleanest service game of the day: forehand volley winner, service winner, 106mph ace out wide, backhand winner at the net.
Fourth set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 1-2 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka breezes through a love hold in about a minute’s time.
Fourth set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 1-1 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Holds of serve haven’t come easy for Murray today and this one is no different after his 10th double fault of the day pushes it to deuce. His 11th double gives Nishioka a break point, which Murray saves. Then his 12th double fives Nishioka another break point, which Murray again saves. From there Murray escapes with the hold after no small labor exerted.
Fourth set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 0-1 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
A promising start for Nishioka, who is pushed to deuce but wins two quick ones from there, holding to open the fourth.
Murray wins third set, 7-6 (5)!
Third-set tiebreak: Murray 5-7 Nishioka
Both players continue to hold their serve until Nishioka, serving at 4-5, can only watch as Murray ends a 14-shot rally with a blistering forehand winner. Moments later, Murray nails down the set after an unforced error by Nishioka, punctuating it with a lengthy “Come onnnn!” Could the comeback be on?
Third-set tiebreak: Murray 3-3 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray opens with a service winner before Nishioka misfires on a forehand to go a minibreak down. Nishioka pounds a backhand winner for 1-2, then Murray gives the minibreak back with an unforced error off the forehand side. After trading winners, they’re level at 3-all as they change ends.
Third set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 6-6 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka falls behind 15-30, allowing Murray within two points of the set. But he wins the nets three points in quick order to force the breaker.
Third set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 6-5 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray threads a pretty drop-shot winner, but follows it with three sloppy points to go double break point down. This could be it. Murray erases them both with back-to-back winners, but nets a backhand from the baseline on the next point to give Nishioka a third chance at a break. Murray saves that, too, then goes on to hold with a backhand volley winner at the net, but not after being made to labor for it. Nishioka will now serve to force a tiebreaker.
Third set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 5-5 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka misfires off the forehand side in the opening exchange, but holds his nerve again in winning four quick points to nail down the hold.
Third set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 5-4 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Squeaky bum time for the 2012 US Open champion as he opens with his third double fault of the set followed by an unforced error off the backhand side to fall love-30 down. He responds with a 125mph ace down the middle and a forehand volley winner, only to follow with his 41st unforced error of the day to gift Nishioka a crucial break-point chance. Murray survives when Nishioka mishits a backhand, then rattles off two quick points to escape with the hold. Nishioka will serve to stay in the third set after the change of ends.
Third set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 4-4 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka answers with a stress-free hold of his own. No margin for error for Murray as he steps to the line.
Third set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 4-3 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray badly needed a comfortable hold and that’s what he produced, winning four points on the trot behind a booming serve, including a 130mph ace down the pipe.
Murray breaks in sixth game of third set!
Third set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 3-3 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
A glimmer of hope for Murray as he breaks back to level the proceedings in the third set. Nishioka falls behind love-15 and 15-40 before mixing in his fourth double fault of the afternoon.
Third set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 2-3 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray keeps pace with a hold despite his seventh double fault of the day. He’s still grappling with that first serve, getting less than half of them in the court.
Third set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 2-2 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Another love hold for the dialed-in Nishioka, who’s won 22 of the last 27 points on his serve.
Third set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 1-2 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray comes through with an easy hold, but he will need to make some headway on Nishioka’s serve after the changeover if he hopes to extend this match.
Third set: *Murray 4-6, 4-6, 0-2 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka wastes no time backing up the break, holding at love and capping it with a 109mph ace down the middle.
Nishioka breaks in first game of third set!
Third set: Murray 4-6, 4-6, 0-1 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Yikes on bikes. Murray is quickly broken in his opening service game of the third set, double-faulting on break point. The path to victory coming into focus for the Japanese upstart.
Nishioka wins second set, 6-4!
Second set: Murray 4-6, 4-6 Nishioka
Three of Murray’s nine career fightbacks from two sets down have come at the US Open. He will need a fourth to reach the second round after dropping the second set moments ago to an in-form Yoshihito Nishioka.
A somewhat flat Murray has chipped in nearly twice as many unforced errors (32) as Nishioka (17) while hitting five less winners.
Second set: Murray 4-6, 4-5 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray crushes his sixth ace (120mph out wide) for 30-love. He immediately follows with his fifth double fault for 30-15, but holds from there to put the pressure on Nishioka, who after the changeover will serve for a two-sets-to-none lead.
Second set: *Murray 4-6, 3-5 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka rights the ship with a mostly stress-free hold and Murray will now serve to stay in the set.
Second set: Murray 4-6, 3-4 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray consolidates the break after soldiering through another lengthy service game that included his fourth and fifth aces of the day.
Murray breaks in sixth game of second set!
Second set: *Murray 4-6, 2-4 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Murray gets one break back in what can only be described as against the run of play. After opening with a backhand passing winner, Nishioka had won 13 of the previous 16 points on his serve. But Murray rattles off the next four, aided by a handful of loose points by the world No 49.
Second set: Murray 4-6, 1-4 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray finds himself in trouble on his serve again, mixing in his 24th and 25th unforced errors as he’s forced to deuce. Nishioka nets a forehand from the baseline, but then uncorks a sizzling forehand winner past Murray as he comes to net for deuce again. The back-and-forth ensues until Murray is finally able to seal a hard-won hold after 12 points to get on the scoreboard in the second.
Second set: *Murray 4-6, 0-4 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Murray pushes it to 30-all, but Nishioka follows with an ace out wide and forehand volley winner to back up the break. The Japanese southpaw has now won nine of 15 points at the net today.
Nishioka breaks in third game of second set!
Second set: Murray 4-6, 0-3 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray is deep in it now, falling behind a double break. Two more double faults early in the game allow Nishioka to push it to deuce. From there Nishioka forces Murray to net a volley, then watches as his opponent pulls a forehand wide from the baseline.
Second set: *Murray 4-6, 0-2 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka, dialed in on his serve, cruises through a love hold to consolidate the break.
Nishioka breaks in first game of second set!
Second set: Murray 4-6, 0-1 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
A patchy first serve and too many unforced errors against an agile 145lb opponent who’s getting everything back. That’s been the story as bad goes to worse for Murray, who’s broken for the second time today in the opening game of the second set. Murray started with back-to-back double faults, then mixed in two more unforced errors on forehands to gift Nishioka the game.
Nishioka wins first set, 6-4!
First set: Murray 4-6 Nishioka
Nishioka misfires early in a rally to go love-15 down, but follows with his second ace of the day: 116mph down the middle. An unforced error by Murray followed by a forehand winner up the line by Nishioka gives the youngster a pair of set points. Murray saves the first, but sends a lob past the corner on the second to hand Nishioka the opener.
Only six winners against 11 unforced errors for Murray, compared to 12 and nine for Nishioka.
First set: Murray 4-5 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
An expeditious love hold for Murray capped by aces of 128mph (down the pipe) and 124mph (out wide). Now it’s on the 24-year-old to serve out the set after the change of ends.
First set: *Murray 3-5 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka opens with a 115mph ace out wide, then races to a comfortable hold to back up the break. Murray will now serve to stay in the opening set.
Nishioka breaks in seventh game of first set!
First set: Murray 3-4 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray’s first serve is misfiring again as he falls behind love-15, then 15-40. He brushes aside the first with a punishing inside-out forehand winner early in the point from a step inside the baseline. But Nishioka capitalizes on the second, dragging Murray from corner to corner before putting away an overhand winner. He only one of six first serves in for Murray in that game (and 8-of-23 on the day).
First set: *Murray 3-3 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Serving at 15-all, Nishioka shows off his retrieving skills, answering every posed by Murray over a 23-shot exchange. He follows with his first double fault of the day for 30-all, but holds from there with a backhand volley winner and a Murray unforced error from the baseline. We’re level through six games, but Nishioka has been made to work quite a bit harder on his serve.
First set: *Murray 2-2 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Nishioka mixes in a pair of unforced errors from 30-15 and faces his first break point of the day. But Murray misfires from the backhand side early in the ensuing rally to waste it and Nishioka is able to hold from there.
First set: Murray 2-1 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Another easy hold for Murray, who’s finding the mark with the first serve a touch better than before.
First set: *Murray 1-1 Nishioka (*denotes next server)
Murray rips a backhand winner to open Nishioka’s first service game, but the world No 49 wins four points from there for a drama-free hold.
First set: Murray 1-0 Nishioka* (*denotes next server)
Murray’s first point in nearly two years in a grand slam singles match is a lob winner onto the baseline following a 13-stroke rally. He’s forced to deuce but holds comfortably despite getting just two of eight first serves in.
Today’s forecast calls for showers on and off throughout the day. But the roof is open for now and conditions are pleasant with an on-court temperature of 73F (23C). The players are finished with their warmups and Murray will serve to start after Nishioka won the toss and elected to receive.
Happy Tuesday and welcome to day two at Flushing Meadows. We’re moments away from the day’s first match in Arthur Ashe Stadium as 2012 US Open champion Andy Murray faces 24-year-old Japanese left-hander Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round.
Since winning 78 matches and ending the year as world No 1 back in 2016, Murray has undergone two right hip surgeries and played a total of 68 matches. But his second-round win over world No 7 Alexander Zverev last week at Cincinnati-on-Hudson marked his biggest win since he beat then-No 2 Novak Djokovic at the 2016 ATP finals.
The players have just now taken the court and we will follow with updates throughout the day.
Bryan will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s how Novak Djokovic fared in his opener:
Novak Djokovic got his campaign to win a fourth US Open, and 18th grand slam title overall, off to a flying start by beating Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the second round, where he will meet Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Djokovic broke Dzumhur’s serve for a seventh time to seal the win in the first night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium court, which, due to Covid-19, was missing the thousands of rowdy New York tennis fans that usually flock to Queens every year.
Dzumhur, who hails from Bosnia and Herzegovina, had no answer to the world No1’s blistering serve and stout defence in a match that lasted just under two hours. The 28-year-old did not make it easy on himself, committing 41 unforced errors and eight double faults to fall to 0-3 lifetime against Djokovic.
With the win the Serbian, who won his fourth title of the year at the Western & Southern Open on Saturday, improved to 24-0 on the season.
Afterwards Djokovic said: “Do I want to keep the streak going? Of course I do. But am I thinking about it as a priority every single day? No. But it’s there, it’s an additional motivation for me and it fuels me to play even stronger and even better and play to the right intensity in every match.”